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Your skin can play a surprising role in regulating your blood pressure and heart rate, says a new study. Skin, the largest organ in a human body helps to regulate hypertension in its response to changes in the amount of oxygen available in the surrounding environment. “Given that skin is the largest organ in our body, it perhaps shouldn’t be too surprising that it plays a role in regulation such a fundamental mechanism as blood pressure,” said Randall Johnson, professor at the University of Cambridge.
The scientists explained that when the heart tissue is starved of oxygen — as can happen in areas of high altitude, or in response to pollution, smoking or obesity — blood flow to that tissue will increase. In such situations, the increase in blood flow is controlled in part by the ‘HIF’ family of proteins.
The team exposed genetically modified mice to such low-oxygen conditions replicating the high altitude conditions.The mice which lacked in one of two proteins in the skin (HIF-1a or HIF-2a), showed an effect on the heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and general levels of activity. “These findings suggest that our skin’s response to low levels of oxygen may have substantial effects on the how the heart pumps blood around the body,” said Andrew Cowburn, senior research associate at the varsity. Previous studies have revealed that blood pressure is regulated by the brain, by blood vessels, or by the kidney.
However, the study published in the journal eLife “suggests that we may need to take a look at other organs and tissues in the body and see how they, too, are implicated”, in controlling blood pressure. High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. High blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke and other heart diseases. Our diet can play a significant role in regulating our blood pressure. Here are some foods you must include in your diet to keep your blood pressure in check as suggested by Wellness expert Preeti Rao.
1. Lemon: Lemon is one of the best remedies for hypertension. It is known to make the blood vessels soft and flexible, lowering blood pressure level.
2. Watermelon Seeds: Watermelon seeds contain a compound called cucurbocitrin, which helps widen the blood capillaries.
3. Garlic: Both raw and cooked garlic help control high blood pressure and at the same time reduce cholesterol levels. Garlic helps relax blood vessels by stimulating the production of nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide.
4. Bananas: They are one of the best remedies to control hypertension. Banana is a rich source of potassium, which lessens the effect of sodium.
5. Celery: Phthalates found in celery help relax the muscles in and around the arterial walls, thereby creating more space and allowing the blood to flow in without difficulty. (Inputs IANS)